Mads Tolling & Dan Zemelman — Saturday, July 28
Internationally renowned violinist and composer Mads Tolling is originally from Copenhagen, Denmark and now lives in San Francisco. As a former member of both bassist Stanley Clarke’s band and the celebrated Turtle Island Quartet, Mads won two Grammy Awards and was nominated for a third. He has performed with Chick Corea, Ramsey Lewis, Kenny Barron, Paquito D’Rivera, Leo Kottke and Sergio & Odair Assad as well as with his own groups, The Mads Tolling Quartet and Mads Tolling & The Mads Men.
For this concert, Mads will be collaborating with jazz pianist Dan Zemelman. Dan contributed to blues legend John Lee Hooker’s final studio album Face to Face and toured with blues vocalist Zakiya Hooker. These days he plays regularly with top Bay Area jazz icons like Marcus Shelby and Adam Theis as well as with his own trio.
Mads and Dan met ten years ago through the eclectic San Francisco jazz scene and were featured performers not long afterward at the Danish Embassy’s 50-year Anniversary in Washington DC.
For us they’ll perform songs from the American Songbook and sprinkle in a few originals and perhaps even a Danish folk tune or two. Don’t miss a rare opportunity to hear these amazing musicians in an intimate setting. Come join us on July 28th, and in the meantime check out this Mads original, a Thelonious Monk tune, one of those Danish folk songs and this video of a recent live performance.
Amaranth Quartet–Friday, August 3
Equally at home with Mozart and Mendelssohn as they are with brand new string quartet compositions, violinists Emily Botel and Abigail Shiman, violist Julie Michael, and cellist Helen Newby met at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, formed the Amaranth Quartet in 2014 and have been going strong ever since. They’ve been one of the featured groups for the past two years at the annual Kronos Quartet Festival in San Francisco.
For us they’ll present pieces from a wide range of eras:
Darius Milhaud, String Quartet No. 7
Felix Mendelssohn, String Quartet No. 2: III. Intermezzo
Igor Stravinsky, Three Pieces for String Quartet
Alyssa Weinberg, Parallels
Garth Knox, Satellites: III. Dimensions
Nicole Lizee, Another Living Soul
Fodé Lassana Diabaté, Sunjata’s Time: I. Sumaworo; III. Nana Triban
Rhiannon Giddens, At the Purchaser’s Option
Alessandra Vrebalov, My Desert, My Rose
You can read more about their recent Kronos Festival concert and sample one of the pieces they’ll be playing for us here.
Aallotar–Saturday, August 4
Ancestors of Sara Pajunen and Teija Niku lived within hours of each other in western Finland–speaking the same language, playing the same music, living the same culture. In the late 19th century, Pajunen’s ancestors emigrated to northern Minnesota; Niku’s family remained in Finland. Today, they explore a common heritage in Finnish folk music, even as they create new sounds that reflect their contemporary cultures and various interests. Pajunen is a violinist, and Niku an accordionist; their lithe instrumentals and beautiful vocal harmonies in both Finnish and English demonstrate how gracefully traditional and modern folk music can speak together.
Aallotar has been at Fifth Street several times, bringing mysterious Finnish harmonies to the West Coast of America. This show is part of a release tour of Aallotar’s second album ‘Ameriikan Laulu’ (Song of America), released by German record label Nordic Notes.
Western Centuries–Saturday, September 1
John Whelan & Haley Richardson–Friday, September 28
Musica Pacifica–Saturday, October 6